Transparency International condemns the harassment on Sunday by Yemeni police on members of the Yemeni Team for Transparency and Integrity (YTTI), Transparency International’s chapter in formation in Yemen, as they were campaigning against corruption.
Police officers on 24 November harassed a group of YTTI activists as they gathered stories from citizens about bribery involving the police and military in the capital Sanaa as part of a new campaign to raise awareness about corruption in the security sector.
A police officer pointed his rifle at the group of 18 volunteers and one staff member while another officer tried to confiscate the group’s video camera. The encounter ended in the officers cursing and shoving members of the group.
There have been coordinated efforts with the Interior Ministry to stop corruption. This is the latest in a series of intimidating calls, kidnappings, and even a violent attack on members of YTTI.
Transparency International calls on the Yemeni authorities to abide by their obligations under Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which calls on state parties to promote civil society participation in the prevention of corruption, including through publishing and disseminating information about corruption.
The harassment follows an attack in May when an unidentified gunman shot and seriously injured YTTI project coordinator Qasim al-Lami shortly after al-Lami had publicly spoken out against corruption. The assailant is still at large.
The group on Sunday was part of a new YTTI campaign entitled ‘Keep your income clean’. The campaign, which the Interior Ministry approved and helped coordinate, involves police and military officials of all ranks putting up posters in public spaces including police stations and working with YTTI to raise awareness of bribery.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption
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